What do Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick have in common? They are the latest in a growing line of political and sports figures to praise the life and legacy of Cuban Dictator Fidel Castro.
Let’s be very clear here. The record is crystal clear. Fidel Castro was a revolutionary leader who came to power using violence and intimidation to brutalize the Cuban people for decades.
According to the official archives in Cuba, which has documented the atrocities of the Castro regime, at least 3,116 people were killed by firing squad and 1,116 people were executed in other extrajudicial killings during his reign.
Listed below is the death toll of the more than 7,000 Cubans murdered on his watch.
It’s incredible that Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein praised former Cuban strongman Fidel Castro in a tweet Saturday afternoon:
Fidel Castro was a symbol of the struggle for justice in the shadow of empire. Presente!
— Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) November 27, 2016
Stein is currently making headlines for her presidential vote recount. Stein has raised millions of dollars to fund the effort that could involve several states.
It’s remarkable that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau praised Castro. In his statement, Trudeau spoke of “deep sorrow” after learning of “the death of Cuba’s longest serving president.”
Trudeau wrote, “Fidel Castro was a larger than life leader who served his people for almost half a century. A legendary revolutionary and orator, Mr. Castro made significant improvements to the education and healthcare of his island nation.”
The statement drew harsh criticism from political circles.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio asked: Is this real? Tweeting:
Is this a real statement or a parody? Because if this is a real statement from the PM of Canada it is shameful & embarrassing. https://t.co/lFXeqU7Ws0
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 26, 2016
Florida U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who fled Cuba with her family when she was 8, was not impressed with Trudeau either. She said in a statement, “I’ve been reading his sickening love letter to dead Fidel Castro and I’m thinking, ‘Sure, you did not lose a loved one to an execution squad. You did not lose a loved one to the gulags in Cuba.’ ”
For a true representation of what the Castro regime meant to the people of Cuba, you only need to read the 2006 report from Human Rights Watch. The report states:
“Cuba remains an undemocratic government that represses nearly all forms of political dissent. President Castro’s government continues to enforce political conformity using criminal prosecutions, long- and short-term detentions, mob harassment, police warnings, surveillance, house arrests, travel restrictions, and politically motivated dismissals from employment. The end result is that Cubans are systematically denied basic rights to free expression, association, assembly, privacy, movement, and due process of law.”
Troublingly, the praise and criticism of Castro has mirrored political ideologies. Support is coming from those who lean left. Consider that for a moment. Because someone has an ideological slant similar to yours, you are willing to “overlook” decades of human rights and political abuses and heap praise on someone’s legacy. That is a scary thought, and shows how partisan our politics have become.
To praise a murderous, oppressive criminal crosses a line no political leader should ever contemplate if they want to be taken seriously. And any person who chooses to do so, has, honestly, given up any claims to moral authority.